Act Like It Before You Are It

My wife and I have a rule when we go to restaurants. When the bill comes, we don’t look at the total amount owed or the list of items we ordered to make sure it’s correct. In fact, when the waiter / waitress comes by with the machine to take our payment, I hand over the bill and don’t look at the number at all. The only thing I look at in the payment process are the tip options on the machine. The only reason I look is because our rule is that we automatically tip the highest percentage option without exception. That’s the only decision that matters to us when it comes time to pay. We know the type of restaurant we’re in so we generally know how much we’re going to have to spend, so it’s certainly not as if we’re spending recklessly, it just means we’re spending like the total dollar amount doesn’t matter to us.

The reason we do this is because for years, going out to eat was stressful. Throughout those years, we were making some changes to our career lives and financial organization for the purpose of living a healthier, more secure life. We were working towards a life where it truly doesn’t matter how much dinner costs because we know the money is there and we know more is coming in. We made remarkable progress, but going out to eat was still stressful. That is, until we made our rule. We wanted to live an abundant, prosperous and generous life, but we were skimpy on tips because of how much it cost. Being skimpy on tips isn’t very generous and it definitely does not exude abundance or affirm prosperity. A time came when we recognized this, so we made a decision to be generous, abundant and prosperous customers. The decision was surely made before it was true, but we knew who we wanted to be. From that day we started acting like it.

Maybe you’ve read some of the literature on financial advice. If you have, likely you’re aware of the concept of managing your money like you have plenty of it regardless of whether or not you actually do. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki says pay yourself first no matter what. “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason says invest 10% of all income big or small. “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harve Eker says that if you can’t even imagine earning more money than you currently do, you never will. A common theme in these books and many others is that in order to live a rich life, you must have rich habits and the habits must come before the life does. This isn’t just true with finances.

Everyone has something they’re striving for. New jobs, promotions, relationships, a family, the next level in sports. Whatever it is, preparation cannot be neglected. If you know the position you would like to be in you’d best prepare for it if you ever want the opportunity to thrive in it. If you’re a single person hoping to be in a committed relationship one day, you’d best be working on becoming a person worthy of committing to. If you want to earn a higher paying job within your company, you better know your company inside and out and master the tasks your future self is going to have to do. It’s not as simple as dressing for the job you want rather than the job you have (although sometimes it is), but it’s not that complicated either. That said, the reason why this is not very common is because of one overlooked idea. You have to look into the future to see where you’re going.

As Jim Rohn says, 5 years from now you will arrive, the question is where? He goes on to say that you will either arrive at a well designed or an undesigned destination. If you don’t design your future, how will you know what to prepare for? How will you know what skills to develop? What people to talk to, how to dress, how to walk, how to present yourself on social media, where to travel…? If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you practice already being there? The scary part is that if you don’t know where you want to be, you’ll always be where you are. It’s in your best interest to look forward and decide who you need to be to reach the desired outcome and then start acting like that person. You wouldn’t want to get a promotion, land a hot date or sign a new contract and have no idea how to succeed with your new opportunity would you? 

Practicing for what you don’t yet have isn’t arrogant, naive or a waste of time. It’s necessary.

- Cody